A team of veteran national security practitioners and scholars authored a Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement. The authors modeled the plan after President Ronald Reagan’s historic National Security Decision Directive 75, which laid out a strategy to defeat the Soviet Union without going to war. Published under the auspices of the Center for Security Policy as part of its Secure Freedom Strategy, the latest Version, 3.0, was released on February 20, 2015.
The report co-authors are: Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.); Ambassador Henry F. Cooper; Fred Fleitz; Kevin Freeman; Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.; Dan Goure; John Guandolo; Jim Hanson; Brian Kennedy; Clare M. Lopez; Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.); Joseph E. Schmitz; Tom Trento; J. Michael Waller; Tommy Waller; and David Yerushalmi, Esq. An executive summary follows.
For at least thirty-five years, the United States has been at war with enemies sworn to its destruction. It did not seek enmity or hostilities with them. Both are the product of forces that long predated the establishment of this country, to say nothing of its adoption toward the end of the 20th Century of policies towards the Middle East or other regions.
For much of this period, the U.S. government has pursued various strategies – including selective military engagements, benign neglect, willful blindness and outright appeasement – that have in common one very low common denominator: They all ignore the aforementioned realities and, as a practical matter, have exacerbated them.
A lack of clarity about these realities or a strategy for dealing effectively with them has contributed to a strategic environment of great and growing danger and a wholly inadequate American capacity for contending with such perils. This paper recommends corrective actions, starting with a clear-eyed understanding of the enemy we confront – namely, an international, ideologically driven Global Jihad Movement and its enablers – and the essential elements of an effective strategy for countering it. The alternative approach is modeled after the successful strategy President Ronald Reagan pursued to defeat Soviet communism, embodied in his National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 75.
Understanding The Enemy’s Threat Doctrine
First and foremost, the United States needs to achieve a clear understanding of the enemy and its doctrine. That requires, in particular, clarity concerning the ideology its adherents call shariah, the jihad it impels and the various ways in which such warfare is being waged against us.
The term “shariah” as used in this paper is intended to denote the authoritative and authoritarian corpus juris of Islamic law as it has been articulated by the recognized shariah authorities since at least the 10th century. This use of the term shariah, therefore, does not refer to an idiosyncratic, personal or purely pietistic observance of Islamic law which may or may not conform to the entirety of established Islamic doctrine. As used in this document, the descriptor “shariah-adherent” does not apply to the latter, but rather to Islamic supremacists who engage in jihad or support those who do in furtherance of the political goals of their ideology.
This jihadist doctrine is being advanced by both violent techniques and by means other than terrorism, the latter often pursued technically within the law to avoid detection and countermeasures. Practitioners of such stealthy forms of jihad depend on the U.S. propensity to focus exclusively on “countering violent extremism,” while they pursue their end goals through subversive methods that do not presently use violence. We must, accordingly, be prepared to deal kinetically where necessary with the perpetrators of violent jihad and no less effectively through other means with what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad” – its seditious, covert program designed to “destroy Western civilization from within…by [our own] hands.”
Ironically, it has been incidents of violent jihad – including the Fort Hood massacreii, the Boston Marathon bombingiii, the beheading of a grandmother in Oklahomaiv and the imposition of shariah blasphemy laws via murders in France – that have brought the elements of pre-violent jihad into sharp relief. This includes a successful “information dominance” campaign and other influence operations that keep us from understanding:
- who was responsible for such attacks (i.e., Muslims whose self-described “religious fervor” prompted them to wage jihad against the United States and the West);
- the infrastructure being built to support jihad inside the United States (e.g., the shariah-adherent mosques, Islamic Centers, and other indoctrination and ideological warfare centers attended by each of the perpetrators that have been tied to an organization that federal prosecutors have identified as part of “the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in America,” namely, the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT]v);
- the double-standard applied to Muslim perpetrators of violence contrasted with the treatment of those of other faiths; and
- the perils of submitting to demands for restrictions on freedom of expression or other liberties.
Establishing Our Objective
It is the sworn duty of every U.S. official to uphold and defend “the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” A strategic objective of the Global Jihad Movement is to subvert or overthrow the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, our fundamental objective in opposing the Global Jihad Movement, and its attempts to promote its ideology in the United States, is to defend our Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees here at home.
Cold War-era resistance to Communism was not merely against the Soviet government, but against Communist ideological offensives to subvert or overthrow our Constitution. To face the Global Jihad threat, the United States must enunciate a national commitment to – using a phrase President Reagan employed as the object of NSDD 75 – “contain and over time reverse” shariah-driven Islamic expansionism, including establishment of a Caliphate. The rising tide of shariah supremacism and its manifestations here and abroad make abundantly clear that Western civilization, indeed America, cannot coexist with the Global Jihad Movement.
Nor can we fight or win this struggle alone: American allies worldwide face the same threat from the same Global Jihad Movement. Forging strong partnerships with our closest friends in Australia, Canada, Europe, Israel, New Zealand, and elsewhere and standing with them — and, indeed, all who choose liberty — is the surest way to demonstrate the unified resolve of the civilized world to confront savagery and spare it the blight of shariah.
At a minimum, we must practice the most basic principle of a foreign policy rooted in the philosophy of peace through strength: It should be far better to be an ally of the United States than its enemy. Only by conducting our affairs in this fashion do we have stand a chance of decisively thwarting the efforts of aggressive jihadists, and their enablers, to increase the number and lethality of our foes and neutralize or eliminate our friends.
For starters, we should not be encouraging the jihadis to undertake a redoubled effort to make us, in the words of the Quran, “feel subdued” through intensifying violence. Yet, that is precisely what the doctrine of shariah commands its adherents to do in the face of acts of submission by infidels. As long as we seek – in the name of “political correctness,” “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” or “tolerance” – to accommodate or appease shariah’s adherents, they are obliged to respond with increasing acts of violent jihad.
In short, the Global Jihad Movement must be thwarted in its efforts to impose shariah upon us, whether through violent jihad techniques or through pre-violent jihad (using Dawah tactics) promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood until the correlation of forces is ripe for the decisive use of force.
Reestablishing ‘Peace through Strength’
Just as President Reagan did in his day, the contemporary hollowing out of the U.S. military must be reversed as a matter of the utmost priority. The perception of American weakness only reinforces and encourages our shariah-adherent enemies’ conviction that the time has come for intensifying jihad operations. That perception is also emboldening other adversaries, including Russia, China and North Korea, while in turn weakening our allies and friends, and undermining national morale here at home.
As a result, restoring and enhancing the power-projection capabilities of our armed forces is not only necessary to ensure we have the range of capabilities necessary to address those threats kinetically. It is also vital if we are to minimize the chances we will needlessly have to fight wars that might otherwise be deterred and, hence, avoided.
As the United States is not confronting just terrorist organizations, or even their state- sponsors, but prospectively “peer competitors,” the rebuilding of American military power must be balanced across the spectrum of nuclear, missile defense, conventional and special operations forces. We must also continue to develop asymmetric capabilities (e.g., in space and cyber space) while correcting our most egregious vulnerabilities to these enemies’ asymmetric attacks (notably, electromagnetic pulse, cyberwarfare, counter-space, economic/financial warfare, smuggled weapons of mass destruction, etc.)
As in the Cold War, America’s ability to challenge and neutralize its enemies’ animating ideology is at least as important as the task of countering their kinetic threats. Once we are clear about the nature and centrality of the shariah doctrine to the existential danger we currently face, the need for a serious and effective counter-ideological strategy becomes self- evident.
In fact, some American military leaders are now beginning to recognize that they are aware of their lack of understanding of the ideological threat. “We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” a senior general officer recently admitted in the context of countering the Islamic State. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”
President Reagan understood that at the core of his NSDD 75 strategy had to be a robust assertion of the superiority of our constitutional republic and civilization – and a concomitant effort to delegitimate and undermine our enemies’ totalitarian form of government and repressive ideology. A similar foundation is essential for countering today’s foes, jihadis and others who seek to crush human liberty.
In particular, such a strategy requires that we direct our support, legitimating and outreach efforts to non-Jihad Muslims, and deny it to the jihadis (most especially, the Muslim Brotherhood). This is critical to empowering the former and de-legitimating the latter. It is also essential if we are to thwart the shariah-adherents’ concerted bid to dominate the non- adherent Muslim community and compel it to conform to shariah.
The strategy can be done within a framework of religious tolerance by focusing on shariah’s supremacist and jihad elements as the enemy’s threat doctrine, thereby avoiding a frontal assault on the Muslim faith. To be clear, shariah’s adherents insist that they are one and the same and that any Muslim who believes otherwise is an apostate, which is a capital offense. Yet, surely there exists some unknowable number of Muslims around the world – and especially in this country – who, in disobedience to the authorities of their faith, do not themselves subscribe to the jihad elements of shariah, and do not seek to impose it on others. Indeed, many who came to this country did so at least in part to escape shariah.
The point that the authorities of Islam are part of the problem – not “violent extremists” who are said to be trying to “hijack Islam” was made plain when Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi challenged the leadership of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, (often described as the Vatican of Islam).
Unfortunately, no significant elements from within Islam thus far have presented themselves as likely allies in the death struggle we confront with our mutual enemies. So it is important that, even as we continue to encourage and support any who do, we not distract ourselves from a focus on the majority of Muslims and Islamic authorities who continue to promote or at least support jihad and shariah supremacism unabated.
Putting a counter-strategy into practice will require, first and foremost, identifying the Muslim Brotherhood for the explicitly jihadist organization it has always been and is now. Continuing to treat its operatives and organizations (overt and covert) in America and overseas as “partners” because we are told they “eschew violence” is a formula for our incremental destruction.
The Brotherhood, its funders, ideologues (notably, Yousef al-Qaradawi) and propagandists (especially Al-Jazeera) should be regarded as enemies of the United States. At best, they are engaged in material support for terrorism. At worst, they are perpetrators, as well as enablers, of it. Wherever they are to be found, and as soon as possible, these foes should be neutralized as political forces. At a minimum, they must be denied access to U.S. government agencies, arms, funds, and, via television cable packages, household subscribers. New legislation would be required first to designate the Muslim Brotherhood an Enemy of the State, a Hostile Foreign Power, or Terrorist Organization to enable legally such bans against it.
Others enabling the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow jihadis (which include al-Qaeda and other practitioners of the explicitly violent jihad) must be regarded as part of the problem, not as reliable allies. Thus, we must confront with intent to defeat not only the jihad regime in Iran. We cannot continue to give a pass to Saudi-, Qatari- and other Gulf State ‘frenemies’ that are – despite their theological differences with the Iranian Shiites – perfectly prepared to make common cause with them against Western “infidels” as the Saudis did in the 9/11 attacks.
These Sunni governments support the Global Jihad Movement through asymmetric warfare techniques (notably: underwriting information and influence operations; the construction and management of shariah-adherent mosques, Islamic Centers, and indoctrination and training centers; the migration of shariah-adherent populations to non- Muslim countries; and underwriting jihad cells and organizations) at the very same time they are, to varying degrees, allied with us to protect their ruling families and interests by hosting our forces in their countries.
The United States also needs to check and defeat what is arguably the single most important instrument of political warfare now being wielded against us by our shariah- adherent enemies: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC has to be opposed, not abetted, in its efforts – both through multilateral forums (in particular, UN agencies) and bilaterally – to impose shariah blasphemy laws and other, incremental measures in the service of advancing its ideology at the expense of our constitutional rights and freedom more generally.
Every instrument of the U.S. government – especially a reconstituted and state-of-the- art information warfare capability comparable to that brought to bear at the height of the Cold War by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the U.S. Information Agency, and utilizing social media and other technologies not available in that era – must be employed to wrest information dominance from our enemy. Critical to this effort is the recruitment and training of professional cadres willing and able to execute the strategy.
We must take a page from the playbook developed during the Reagan administration by then-Director of Central Intelligence William Casey and use covert means as permitted in federal statutes and EO 12333 wherever possible to counter, divide, and undermine our enemies. To the traditional intelligence techniques should be added aggressive use of psychological operations, cyberwarfare and, where necessary, clandestine and special operations. These efforts require an overhaul of legal authority to make them effective.
A particular focus must be challenging the inroads being made by jihadis using funding, arms, and shariah indoctrination to dominate Muslim populations and enlist them in jihad. This will require making shariah-adherence a differentiator between those we will support and those we must oppose. Such a differentiation also will clarify the true status of so-called ‘lone wolves,’ whose self-adherence to shariah makes it more accurate to describe them as jihadis acting individually to further a shared goal: the global triumph of their ideology.
As with the Reagan NSDD 75 plan, there must be a central economic/financial warfighting component to a new American strategy for defeating the existential enemies of our time. This component would include:
• Constricting the principal source of revenues for the jihad: vast petrodollar transfers from Western nations to OPEC states that are the wellsprings of support for Islamic expansionism and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Burgeoning energy supplies within this country and in our neighbors to the north and south offer opportunities for leverage that can be used to defund OPEC and bankrupt both those dependent on its underwriting of jihad and those who sponsor such warfare.
For example, we can exploit natural gas and natural gas-derived methanol as transportation fuels, allowing the sector that is the principal U.S. consumer of foreign oil, and the nation as a whole, to be weaned from what remains currently of their dependency on supplies from outside the hemisphere (currently some three million barrels per day).
An additional benefit from ensuring that most cars operating today can utilize alcohol- based fuels as well as gasoline would be to enable more than 100 countries around the world to produce such fuels from their own feedstocks (namely, such carbon-rich resources as natural gas, coal, switch grass, trash, wood chips, biomass, etc.) The potential for electric cars may also be part of this mix. The practical effect of such energy independence – not just in this country, but world-wide – would be to break the back of the OPEC cartel.
- Treating shariah-adherents in the global financial markets and international trading system the same way as terrorists – namely, by stigmatizing them. This would mean, among other things, reversing the present practice of accommodating and even encouraging shariah finance – a technique employed by civilization jihadis to penetrate and subvert our capitalist system.
- Exposing shariah-inspired sovereign wealth funds as instruments of financial jihad. Ending the practice of providing undisciplined, discretionary cash to shariah-linked entities (e.g., sovereign sponsors, wealth funds, banks, companies, bond and equity offerings, etc.) that currently can attract large-scale financing without any underlying projects or trade transactions. For example, shariah-associated entities have benefited enormously from so-called “structured commodity finance” transactions (a.k.a. “pre- export finance”) of the kind that has been used to make available multi-billion-dollar, front-end cash infusions to bad actors in exchange for future deliveries of oil and other commodities at a discounted price.
- Requiring that all U.S. equity funds, banks, brokerage houses, and the like disclose the degree of investment in, or investment by, sharia-compliant entities would contribute in a significant way to transparency in such matters.
As noted above, one of the increasingly ominous aspects of warfare in the 21st Century is the opportunity for asymmetric attacks across various domains and technologies. Among the most rapidly intensifying and proliferating of these is cyber warfare.
The shariah-inspired enemy is operating in loose collaboration with an array of adversarial nation states, sub-national terrorist organizations and transnational anarchists, cyber warriors and hackers. Clearly, not all of these collaborators share a commitment to Islamic supremacism. But all of them appear, broadly-speaking, to agree with any agenda aimed at destroying Western civilization – or at a minimum, are willing to work for wealthy clients.
Highly sophisticated and potentially destructive cyber espionage and warfare tools increasingly in the hands of this nation’s enemies are capable of targeting: classified government operations, the databases of international firms, individuals’ private information, social media forums, and perhaps most alarmingly of all, the critical infrastructure of societies across the globe. The very connectivity that is the hallmark of advanced economies everywhere has become their most exposed vulnerability.
Additionally, the cyber battlespace intersects with each of the others we address in this paper: the kinetic-military, ideological, intelligence, and economic arenas. Operating behind the scenes, the Global Jihad Movement’s so-called “cyber armies” and their associates move adroitly across the Internet to communicate, proselytize, recruit, train and launch attacks that threaten not just our credit card data and social security numbers, but the very systems that make modern life possible. With the known ability to breach the firewalls that are supposed to protect the U.S. electric grid, energy distribution, water supply networks and other indispensable infrastructures, jihadist nation states like Iran, as well as malicious associations like “Anonymous” today constitute the kind of threat to our national existence that previously was posed exclusively by a massive nuclear attack.
Therefore, a new strategy that addresses these threats must also be able to draw upon capabilities largely unknown at the time of President Reagan’s NSDD 75: The ability to counter cyber threats and to employ our own cyber operations against America’s adversaries. To do so will entail a whole-of-government – and indeed, whole-of-society – response, enlisting the best and brightest of our technical minds for decades to come.
Civilization Jihad on the Homefront
Just as the United States must understand and decisively counter the violent jihadis, it must do the same with respect to those engaged in pre-violent forms of subversive warfare that the Muslim Brotherhood calls civilization jihad.
The Brotherhood has had considerable success with the latter since the Muslim Students Association, its first front organization in America, was established in 1962. Among its accomplishments have been: keeping the “infidels” ignorant of the true nature and progress of efforts to insinuate shariah into Western societies; demanding and securing accommodations for shariah-adherent Muslims and other concessions; utilizing and exploiting educational vehicles to promote the cause of Islamic supremacism; “bridge- building” and interfaith “dialogue” to suborn clerics of other faiths and enlist them as protectors of subversive shariah on First Amendment grounds; promoting Shariah- Compliant Finance; insinuating shariah into U.S. courts; and placing Muslim Brothers into positions from which they can exercise influence.
The following are illustrative examples of initiatives that would advance those goals necessary to rolling back the Muslim Brotherhood in America:
- Muslims who reject shariah’s seditious agenda and oppose its imposition on others should be promoted and empowered. As part of this effort, federal and state-level government agencies must end the practice of “engagement” with or “outreach” to those who purport to be “leaders” of the Muslim American community but who often are, in fact, simply shariah- adherent Islamic supremacists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Congressional hearings should be held to explore crucial questions first raised about the extent of Brotherhood influence on U.S. policymaking in April 2012 by five U.S. lawmakers.xi They sought Inspector General investigations of individuals who were either employees of or advisors to five federal agencies shown to have ties to or sympathies with the Muslim Brotherhood. The object was to establish whether such individuals were having an influence on U.S. policies that were increasingly aligning with the dictates of the Brotherhood.
Legislation designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization should be adopted as a basis for rolling up and shutting down its front groups in the United States and ending any and all U.S. aid and military sales to any Muslim Brotherhood entities, including associates, front group or even “elected governments.”
- Alternatively, new legislation that creates a listed category for “Hostile Foreign Powers” should be enacted to identify groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood whose threat is, for the moment at least, subversive rather than violent.
- Over eighty percent of U.S. mosques have been shown to be shariah-adherent and promoting jihad as evidenced in such visible characteristics as dress, beards, and male- female segregation; the content of preaching and sermons; and printed materials on display or for sale. They are incubators of, at best, subversion and, at worst, violence and should be treated accordingly.
- The United States must terminate the practice of issuing visas for shariah-adherent imams who often seek to use such mosques for purposes antithetical to tolerant religious practice and to the Constitution.
- Similarly, the federal government must stop using refugee resettlement programs, political asylum, visa lotteries, amnesties, etc. to bring large numbers of shariah-adherent Muslims to this country.
- The U.S. must enforce existing immigration law that requires all immigrants to defend the U.S. Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” under the terms of their Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America,xiii and to use shariah-adherent advocacy and practices as legal premises for deportation and stripping of American citizenship.
- American academic institutions that accept funds from shariah-adherent individuals or governments must be required to disclose fully the extent of such payments and the purpose for which they are provided. Where that purpose amounts to promoting shariah or civilization jihadist agendas (e.g., interfaith dialogue, “Muslim-Christian understanding,” etc.), the institution should be discouraged from hosting such activities.
- Charitable organizations that operate as taxpayer-subsidized entities through tax- deductible contributions and promote shariah-adherent individuals and programs, should have their IRS 501(c)(3) status revoked.
- Academic institutions that receive federal funding and promote sharia-adherent individuals programs should be barred from receiving federal funds, including grants, contracts, scholarships, fellowships, subsidies, and proceeds from federally administered or subsidized student loans.
Firms engaging in Shariah-Compliant Finance must be required to disclose the hostile nature of shariah, the names and roles of shariah advisors involved in investment decisions and the expectation that some of the proceeds may be used to support jihad by way of the zakat obligation.
In sum, the American people must be mobilized to comprehend the perilous state we are in and the necessity for concerted action to correct it. The first step is to adopt and begin to implement the concerted program described above, thus identifying for the public: the enemy we confront; how they are inspired, enabled, and sustained through various ideological, political, economic, financial, military, and paramilitary means; and the comprehensive steps necessary to defeat them.
With this foundation, it should be possible to effect the necessary second step: the adoption by the nation of a true warfooting that will bring to bear the popular vigilance and support that will make it possible for the rest of a NSDD 75 2.0 strategy to be fully executed.